Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Blogiversary with a Giveaway!

Two years ago today I published my first blog post and I am so glad I did! I had spent the summer before that discovering quilt blogs...it was like a whole new world to me! 

At first, I was happy just reading the quilt blogs and looking at those gorgeous quilted creations,being inspired by everything I saw. But eventually, reading blogs was not enough. I wanted to be able to communicate with the quilters and let them know how truly gorgeous their quilts were. So I set up a blogger profile and was thrilled when I could finally make comments. But after awhile, that, too, was just not enough. I wanted to share pictures and stories of all my quilty stuff too! So on September 29, 2011, I wrote my first blog, entitled I'm Hooked On Quilt Blogs.

Two years later, I am still hooked on quilt blogs! It has been a ride into a virtual quilting world I hadn't even known existed. When I first started writing, I was working. But now, for well over a year, I have been retired and loving every minute of it. I now have ample time to read about quilts, write about quilts, and make quilts! 

And the biggest bonus? In addition to having wonderful quilting friends in my own community, I have made wonderful blog friends across Nova Scotia, across Canada, into the USA, across the pond, and across continents! I have met some of you "in real life", consider many of you genuine friends even though we have never met, and hope I will get the chance to meet even more of you as this wonderful ride continues.

I want to thank you so much for coming by, reading my posts, looking at my pictures, and often leaving a comment that makes my heart soar! For a gal who has fought with low self-esteem for most of her life, your comments have raised me up time and time again. Many hugs for your continuing support and your gracious words of encouragement.

If you have been following my blog journey, you know I tend to be a little long winded. Who, me?  So I am going to cut this short and say two more things...

1) Look at this! 

Yep, I finished sewing the blocks and the sashing units together for the Blogger Girls BOM.  I added one red print border, will follow this with another narrow border in black, and then repeat the same red print for the final 6.5" border.  Unfortunately, my stash was a little short, so I may have to order a bit of fabric to finish this. When done, the quilt will be about 74" x 90". The sun was so bright today, the camera kind of washed out the reds. Even though it may look like a Halloween quilt of orange and black, trust me...it is really a red and black quilt with lots of neutrals.

2) I'm having a giveaway to celebrate two years of blogging! I will choose two names. Each winner will receive a gift certificate for $25 from an online shop of their choice from the following five shops:  Christa Quilts, Sew Lux Fabrics and Gifts, 1 Choice 4 Quilting, Green Fairy Quilts, and Sew Sisters Quilt Shop (Canadian). I have ordered from all of these shops and have been so very pleased with the personal service and the quick delivery times. 

How do you enter the giveaway? No hoops to jump through. Just leave a comment on this post by Wednesday, October 2 by 9:00 pm EST. I will get Random.org to help me select the two winners. If you are a winner, I will send you an email to find out from which shop you would like to receive the gift certificate, so please make sure your email works!

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Runners and Sew, Sew, Sew

It must be Fall! The nights are cooler, the days are shorter, and I pulled out a few of my Autumn runners...





Every day, morning, noon, and night, I have been sewing little pieces together for the sashings for the Blogger Girls Block of the Month quilt.You can see the picture of the quilt inspiration on my sidebar. 

The quilt was designed by Monique at Open Gate and offered as a six-month QAL last January. Fortunately I had saved the instructions on my iPad since I notice the instructions have been removed. Perhaps this quilt will be featured in a future book? 

Monique has some excellent books for sale. I bought a couple of books and some specialized rulers from her shop HERE. Of course I now have have several of her fat quarter quilts on my to-do list!


Sew, and sew, and sew...I have 62 units of this...

and this...

and this...


When I add them together with a unit of backing, I get a finished unit that will be sewn to the sides of the blocks. This picture shows the colour much better. (We have had lots of rain lately and it has been a chore to take a decent picture for the blog.)


I had a quick look to see what the sashing would look like surrounding one of the blocks, but it is a little confusing to see the floor peeking through! 


My goal for next week is to have all the blocks sewn together and then decide on the border fabric. Today I am working at the shop and in the quiet times hope to sew some more of these units together. I better get going or I will be late! 

It's a great day for quilting!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Winner, Sashing, and a Roadtrip

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway sponsored by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. I hear they had a fabulous Birthday Sale yesterday and I am awaiting my new purchases. I ordered some fabrics for backing and also some background fabric for my Christmas Dresden quilt...the prices were so good! 

The winner of the giveaway of Robert Kaufman batiks supplied by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is Leah, who blogs at Quilted Delights. Leah has been contacted and is patiently awaiting her winnings. I used Mr. Random generator to do the draw. Congrats, Leah! 

Now that Darlene's Mystery quilt is a wrap, I've been having loads of fun in my sewing corner with some UFOs. Remember the free Blogger Girls BOM that I participated in? It was hosted by Monique at Open Gate Quilts. Each month she would present a block in two versions, with several of her designer friends joining her in showing their two blocks. By the end of June, I had 12 blocks done, using a variety of reds, blacks, whites, and creams.



This week I decided to get back to making the sashings. There is a lot of piecing. I counted about 35 pieces in each sashing unit. There are thirty-one  12-inch sashing units. I may be making these units forever! I used strip piecing as much as I could..



and after a busy day in my sewing corner, I did finish sixty-two 3.5" units that are part of the 12"sashing units.



Some gals have already finished their quilts and they are absolutely stunning. Check them out at the Flickr page HERE.  

Last week,I headed out on an overnight roadtrip with three fellow Nova Scotian quilt bloggers. I met all these gals in the past year or so since I started blogging and they are all so sweet! There is Sheila, who blogs at Sheila's Quilt World, Linda, who blogs at Scrapmaster, and Karen, who blogs at KaHolly. I was the driver for the trip and thoroughly enjoyed our time on the road. What a time we had!  

We left Wednesday morning and returned Thursday afternoon. Our plan was to travel to the discount fabric shop in Avonport (about four hours from here) and spend a night at the Old Orchard Inn in Wolfville, stopping along the way to visit other shops, have a meal or two, and enjoy the scenic drive through rural Nova Scotia. Karen and I left from here, we met Sheila in New Glasgow, and picked up Linda in Elmsdale. Believe it or not, not one of us took a picture the whole time, so I have no proof that I was away, except for the bags that I emptied from the trunk when I got home!



From my house to Wolfville and back, we managed to find 4 fabric shops, visiting two of them twice, so I guess that is like shopping at 6  fabric shops! Just in case we got our bags mixed up, I had printed name labels to put on the bags. When it came time to empty the trunk at the end of the trip, it was pretty easy to find our own bags!

Much of my purchases have been put away for now, except for some of the fabrics I'll be using to make the "Not So Spooky" table runner designed by Kimberbell Designs



Gotta love this spider!



and the cute pumpkins...


Back to the Roadtrip...Karen provided some gorgeous cookies for each of us for the trip and I inhaled my batch. Each one was a little work of art! They were so yummy, though, that no cookies came home with me.

Linda presented each of us with a tape measure wrapped up in a little house...how cute is this?



Plus, she gifted me with the most gorgeous set of hand crafted golf towels as a thank you for coordinating the roadtrip. Aren't they adorable? 

I actually golfed today and tried one out...it works!  It was so pretty I didn't want to use it, but Woodworker Hubby reminded me that towels can be washed, so I very delicately used one corner of the towel to dry my golf ball! Thanks, Linda!

Back to the Roadtrip again...On Wednesday night, when we were back at the hotel after supper, we had a fabric exchange.We had brought along surplus fabrics, patterns, and notions from our own stashes and exchanged them for others. What fun...everything was laid out and we took turns grabbing choosing new treasures! 

Sheila had recently participated in the Pin It Blog Hop hosted by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt. She made a variety of beautiful pin cushions that you can see HERE and had brought along extra wool for us to take home to make our own sunflower pin cushion. Linda posted hers on her blog HERE  and here is a picture of the one I made...



We all enjoyed the roadtrip so much, I'm sure there will be another in our future. We had wanted to connect with Darlene who blogs at Quilts by Darlene, and Kaaren, who blogs at The Painted Quilt, but it wasn't possible this time. Maybe next year? Darlene has plans to open a quilt shop in Digby by the first of November, so perhaps next time we'll go further. 

Thanks for coming by. It's a great day for quilting!




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Darlene's Mystery Finish and the September Christmas QAL

Phew, I'm finally ready to link up at Hazel's Quilts for the Christmas QAL weekend! 



Before I joined the Christmas party this weekend, though, I had promised myself I would finish sewing the braided border for Darlene's Mystery quilt...so this morning that is what I did. Once the braids were the correct length, I folded the strips in half lengthwise, lined up the tips to the same height, and removed the tips, cutting 2 3/4" from the centre fold. It seemed to work pretty well for me resulting a 5.5" border.


I sewed the borders on very carefully trying not to stretch them and making sure the braids travelled the correct way around the quilt.  

Then I took a picture of the finished quilt top on a very damp and "leafy" deck under a very damp and dark sky...


Darlene's Mystery Quilt is a finish...yay me! Yay Darlene, who blogs at Quilts by Darlene. She offered this free QAL, starting in January. Every new "reveal" inspired me to push the envelope further. All those interesting borders resulted in a beautiful, large quilt that I love! It is about 88" x 98".  The best things is that I made it using only scraps and fabrics from my stash. Now, I'm taking a deep breath, am crossing this UFO off my list, and I'm ready to "Sew Christmas!" 

Hazel and Joanne at Needle, Thread, Happiness take turns hosting the Christmas QAL and this month we're at Hazel's. I heard a rumour about biscuits being served, but I haven't seen any evidence yet! Some people are making the challenge quilt, but I'm choosing to sew along on my Christmas UFO's. Last time I made some progress on my Christmas dresdens, so off I went to my sewing corner, pulled out my tote, opened the cover and had a peek at the finished plates and some extra fabric.


Ooh, I love Christmas...these fabrics are just the thing to sew with on a dreary, dark, day. I had cut all my fan pieces way back when, so it's a perfect project to grab and start sewing.

I spread out some piles and I'm set to go...

I'm linking up with the gals HERE so make sure you visit them for some inspiration and link up too if you're working on a Christmas project sometime this weekend.

Before I go, if you don't know already, I am also hosting a giveaway for the Canadian online and brick and mortar shop, Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. It's a perfect way to promote and celebrate their huge birthday sale that is being held on September 17. You can read all about the giveaway and the sale by visiting my previous post HERE .If you want to be entered in the draw, make sure you leave your comment on that particular post.

It's a great day for sewing and you know where I'll be!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Giveaway from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop

When Carol of Sew Sisters Quilt Shop contacted me awhile back to see if I would host a giveaway on my blog, I said yes, of course! Why? Because Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is one of the few Canadian online quilt shops that I have discovered, they offer tremendous low shipping rates, and they have a huge selection of fabrics, patterns, kits, and notions to suit me and just about everyone else! 

By hosting a giveaway, I also have the opportunity to tell you about the huge sale taking place at their shop by clicking HERE on September 17...



According to Carol, it is the biggest sale of the year at Sew Sisters. Here is what Carol tells me..."Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is a Canadian quilt store that celebrates all things quilting. We have a large selection of fabric, notions, books, patterns and kits. Whether you’re shopping online at sew-sisters.com, or in the store in Toronto, you will receive the best in products and service. At Sew Sisters we believe you should Buy Fabric. Not Postage! So we have the most reasonable rates on shipping in Canada. Visit our website to find out more!" Thanks, Carol, I have spent a lot of time planning my wish list for the 17th!

If you follow my blog, you know that I am all over the map with my quilting projects. My fabric choices include reproduction, batiks, modern, traditional, and lately I have become interested in novelty prints for some 'tween quilts on my agenda. In fact, I placed an order with Sew Sisters last week when the shop had a gigantic fat quarter sale and I received my treasures yesterday...the shipping was less than $4 and it arrived in a week! Here is what was in my package...lots of fun, bright fabrics...



Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has it all, plus so much more!  Make sure you visit them, especially on September 17, to enjoy their "biggest sale of the year."

So what is the giveaway?  Sew Sisters has gratiously donated a fat quater bundle of batiks...10 beautiful FQs from Robert Kaufman...


If you are interested in winning this scrumptious bundle, leave one comment at the bottom of this post by Tuesday, September 17 at 9:00 pm EST. This giveaway is open to International participants as well. Make sure I can contact you if you are a winner!

Thanks for coming by. It's a great day for quilting!




Thursday, September 5, 2013

Darlene's Mystery Quilt Part 6

Since I returned from my daughter's wedding/adventures out West, I have been reintroducing myself to my sewing corner and I am determined to stay there until I finish Darlene's Mystery quilt! 

Fellow Nova Scotian blogger Darlene, who blogs at Quilts by Darlene, offered us a free 7-part Mystery Quiltalong. She started us off in January with a scrappy snowball centre and I was hooked! The final instructions were published on her blog in early August. I followed along pretty faithfully 'till the summer, and then because I was a little busy (!), I put the quilt on hold until I could devote some more time to it. 

Now I'm back and ready to roll! I do leave my sewing corner to eat and sleep and shop and visit and socialize and do some hand quilting, but when I'm not doing any of that, I am sewing, sewing, sewing! My sewing time has paid off...I have finished Part 6!


Part 6 included two narrow borders, a checkerboard, and a 3.5" border. This entire quilt has been made from my very scrappy stash. I keep strips of fabrics in these labeled coffee cans...


When it's time to sew, I dump out the scraps on my ironing board... 


I grab my iron, and and in no time at all, I have a variety of strips ready to cut.


I tried to stay with basic colours-reds, browns, blues, golds, and greens, with a variety of  lights that I used for the checkerboards. 


This quilt is the largest quilt I have ever made! Right now, without the final borders, the quilt is about 80" x 90". It should easily cover a queen bed when I finish the 5.5" borders.

I have made a pretty good start on the final border in Part 7. The braided borders are made using 2"x5" units...so I went back to my scraps and cut 320 little pieces, color coordinating them just a tad!.


I am on my third day of sewing the braids together.I am sewing all four lengths at the same time, with a "leader and ender" layer cake quilt being pieced in between. Will tell you more about that at a later date! Let's get back to the braids...three days later and I now have approximately 200" of braids done, which means I am a little over half done. 


The braids are really fun to sew, not hard at all, so I will continue to sew them and watch movies on my iPad at the same time. 


I am getting so close to the finish!  This is a quilt that I am so proud of...one that I would never have attempted without Darlene dividing it up in little segments for us.  Thanks so much, Darlene, hopefully I'll have a finish in the next week or two. Then I'll have to figure out how to get it machine quilted...this one will not be hand quilted because it would take me a decade to do it! 

To the lovely lady from Ontario who reads my blog...thank you for visiting the Artisans Collective shop in July and asking for me! I missed your visit on that day, July 19, but was thrilled to hear that someone was in to see me. Maybe you'll be back to visit next year?

Before I go, would you please join me in sending prayers and positive thoughts for a quick recovery to Nova Scotian blog friend Kaaren? Kaaren blogs at The Painted Quilt and shared her "More Lemons" story HERE. Please visit her and leave a comment if you can. She has a lot of time on her hands while she is recovering and we sure want her well as soon as possible so she can continue to amaze us with her prolific quilting and amazing projects. Be well, Kaaren!

It's a great day for quilting!